Trump issues first veto to protect border emergency declaration

President Trump speaks about border security in the Oval Office on Friday

President Donald Trump is poised to issue the first veto of his presidency after a dozen defecting Republicans joined Senate Democrats to block the national emergency he'd declared at the border.

Before the Senate voted on terminating Trump's national emergency, he told reporters, "I'll probably have to veto it", and predicted his veto wouldn't be overturned by Congress.

Before issuing the veto, Trump again said there was a tremendous national emergency, while U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the action the president had taken was legal.

"The House and the Senate resoundingly rejected the President's lawless power grab, yet the President has chosen to continue to defy the Constitution, the Congress and the will of the American people", Pelosi said in a statement announcing the override. "I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!"

Trump's national emergency declaration almost a month ago is paired with a number of executive actions created to make approximately $8 billion of funding available to begin construction on a wall along the southern border. "This will help stop Crime, Human Trafficking, and Drugs entering our Country".

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The emergency declaration is being challenged in court as an unconstitutional usurpation of Congress' power of the purse.

"The president acted well within his discretion in declaring a national emergency concerning the southern border", the Justice Department argues in the letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The Washington Post. The House previously passed the resolution last month, 245 (including 13 Republicans) to 182.

This is the first veto of Mr Trump's presidency. Mike Lee, R-Utah; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Roger Wicker, R-Miss.; Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; and Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

President Trump will deliver remarks in the Oval Office at 3:30 p.m. ET, White House says.

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